A Dictionary of Psychology

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9780192806321: A Dictionary of Psychology

With over 11,000 entries, this comprehensive and up-to-date dictionary covers all branches of psychology. Clear, concise descriptions for each entry offer extensive coverage of key areas including cognition, sensation and perception, emotion and motivation, learning and skills, language, mental disorders, and research methods. The range of entries extends to related disciplines including psychoanalysis, psychiatry, the neurosciences, and statistics. Entries are extensively cross-referenced for ease of use, and cover word origins and derivations as well as definitions.

In addition to the alphabetical entries, the Dictionary of Psychology, Second Edition also includes appendices covering over 800 commonly used abbreviations and symbols, as well as a list of phobias and phobic stimuli, with definitions. Comprehensive and clearly written, this dictionary is an invaluable work of reference for students, lecturers, and the general reader with an interest in psychology.

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About the Author:


Professor Andrew Colman is Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He graduated from the University of Cape Town, where he was appointed to his first lecturing position, and then lectured at Rhodes University before moving to Leicester. His previous publications include more than 150 journal articles and several books. He edited the 12-volume Longman Essential Psychology series (1995) and is the founder and former editor of the journal Current Psychology (1981- ).

From Booklist:

Author Colman, professor of psychology at the University of Leicester and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, describes the aim of this dictionary: "to provide sensible and informative definitions of the most important and difficult words that a reader is likely to encounter in books and articles on psychology." Some 400 entries have been revised and 423 have been added since the first edition (2001), resulting in more than 11,000 entries ranging in length from a single phrase to several hundred words. The number and range of entries promise, and deliver, great breadth of coverage from every branch of psychology--from clinical, social, and physiological psychology to sensation and perception, emotion and motivation, and learning.

Each entry begins with a boldfaced term and indication of part of speech. A great many conclude with an etymological derivation. Although many entries contain technical terms, these are generally cross-referenced to other entries. There are no biographies, but references to psychologists and other individuals within entries are accompanied by brief descriptors and birth and (if appropriate) death dates. An appendix identifies hundreds of phobias and phobic stimuli, often including etymological derivation. Another appendix, of hundreds of abbreviations and symbols such as ACTH, DSM, and TA, refers the reader to the appropriate main entry. Finally, a three-page bibliography lists principal sources. Optical illusions are the most frequent type of illustration.

Though it contains many unique entries (the intriguing bow-wow theory, Dracula hormone, muddy children problem, and Rat Man , for example), the dictionary has considerable overlap with the 25,000-entry APA Dictionary of Psychology (2006). The latter offers more terms related to how psychological concepts intersect with health, law, and other fields. In addition, it is more U.S. focused, contains biographies, and is easier on the eye. Though the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology might not be a first choice for collections needing just one psychology dictionary, it is highly recommended for academic and public libraries as well as for psychology students and professionals. Craig Bunch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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